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A Green Halloween

This Word by, Emily Holden

Break with consumer tradition this month by celebrating the holidays in healthy and sustainable ways.  In honor of Columbus Day, celebrated yesterday across the nation, we at OMPP are keeping the spirit of exploration alive by discovering new and environmentally friendly ways to have fun over the holidays.

Halloween is almost here! Have you started planning your eco-friendly entertainment? I know that it is weeks away, but celebrating traditional holidays in unusual ways requires some preparation. It’s worth it for you and the environment! Halloween is in the running for one of the most excessive and unsustainable holidays, with consumers spending millions of dollars on candy and often unsustainable, non-biodegradable products that will only be used once. One of the best ways to save money and become a smarter consumer is to plan your purchases ahead of time to avoid buying unnecessary items. Necessity is the mother of invention and Mother Nature needs us to be creative!

Start thinking about ways to make this Halloween…green. By preparing for this exciting day in advance, you can find clever ways to make this Halloween fun for everyone without creating excess waste. To get you started, here are a few ideas for “green” Halloween costumes and goodies.

First of all, think about the costume that you or your children will wear. Be it a witch, goblin, or a Lady Gaga costume, you can easily find ways to use recycled fabrics and materials to create your outfit. Search local thrift stores for used costumes or reusable fabrics to save money and turn old materials into original creations. For a few ideas, see these homemade costumes that range from the human Etch A Sketch, to a handmade crocodile and more unusual costumes.

Also, consider household items that you can turn into costume accessories. Get crafty with the kids by using recycled plastic products, and old arts and crafts material to create Halloween decorations. Use costumes from previous years or trade with friends. For costume swaps in your area, check out greenhalloween.org. Although the swap in Houston appears to be “private,” this is the perfect opportunity for you to arrange your own swap among friends and neighbors. If that seems like too much work, try the site’s online swap. Use your imagination and have fun being so resourceful and clever!

If you’re going to carve pumpkins, why not use the whole thing? Consider turning your jack-o’-lantern leftovers into delicious homemade pumpkin pie and roasted pumpkin seeds. If you’ve never made pumpkin pie from scratch, here’s a great recipe. Also, once your jack-o’-lantern’s sinister grin turns into a soggy scowl and the flies begin to swar­­m your front doorstep you may think it’s time to finally toss it into the trash. But here’s a better idea. Compost it! If you’re not an active composter, but want to learn more about it, take a look at our previous post, or COMpost if you will, that explains the composting process. Speaking of delicious pumpkin treats, be on the lookout for OMPP’s pumpkin pie, during our fall menu…

Don’t forget about snacks and candy to hand out this Halloween! NatureMoms is a great source for healthy and homemade ideas.

These are just a few ideas to fit you October festivities into a sustainable lifestyle, but there are an infinite number of ways to celebrate in eco – conscious ways! Let your conscience and creativity be your guide this month and bravely start your journey towards a sustainable lifestyle.

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Filed under compost, Go Green, oh my pocket pies, pie, recycle

Send us YOUR OMPP pics!

We are working on getting some pictures up of our loyal customers and their pie adventures! We want to see you eating, holding, posing, dancing, etc. with our pies (and burgers), around town and/or at our events!

Have you taken any pictures at an OMPP outing? We want to see them! We just might feature them in one of our blog slide shows; Yes, YOUR shining face will be seen on our blog! This is just one of the fun projects we’re working on, so come be a part of it! Tweet us your Twitpics to @ohmypocketpies, or send your photos to info@ohmypocketpies.com

Hope to see your face soon!

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Filed under Fresh, Fresh food, houston, Houston Food, local houston, Mobile Food Truck, oh my pocket pies, pie

As American as Apple Pie!

When you think of classic American food, pie is probably at the top of the list. We took a fun look into the history of the American pie and its travel and transformation over time.

Historians recorded that the first resemblance of pie can be dated back to the ancient Egyptians during the Neolithic period around 9500 BC. by way of galettes, which are essentially rustic free-form pies. They made these pie-like treats using oat, wheat, rye, and barley, then filled them with honey and baked the dish over hot coals. This baking tradition got passed on to the Greeks, who are believed to have invented pie pastry. The pies during this period were made by a flour-water paste encasing meat. The Romans, of course, then updated these recipes to make a pie similar to cheesecake, which was often used as an offering to their gods.

The Oxford English Dictionary traces the first use of the word “pie” as it relates to food to 1303. Research shows that the word became well known and popular by 1362. As shown, the first pies were not made in America. Best put by The Oxford Companion to Food, “If the basic concept of a pie is taken to mean a mixture of ingredients encased and cooked in pastry, then proto-pies were made in the classical world and pies certainly figured in early Arab cookery.” Basically, pie has been around for thousands of years, and ain’t goin’ anywhere!

The first medieval pies in a similar form that we know today, called “coffins” (meaning basket or box), were savory meatpies with tall straight-sided crusts sealed on all sides. The following is a recipe from a medieval cookbook for making a small pie, called a Tarte: Take fyne floure and a cursey of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttle saffron, and the yolckes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye (History of Pie). Sounds just like Betty Crocker!

More current day American pie baking began with the colonists. As a favorite dish of the English, the settlers began baking pies for practical reasons, especially in the harsh and primitive conditions that they endured. Pie crust had less ingredients than bread, and did not need a brick oven to bake. Mostly, pies had a lot of filling ingredients  that could stretch meals among more people (Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America).

What’s with the apple pie? The original recipe for apple pie was also brought to America by the settlers, but showed some variation from the English apple pie – the settlers were free from the rules of English pie! Apple pie became an American symbol when America became the world’s largest apple producing nation. Apple recipes were on the rise, and people couldn’t get enough of that pie!

The Pie King?: James Buchanan Brady (1856-1917), known as Diamond Jim Brady, was a legendary ladies man and “pie man” as well. One dinner, Brady was wheeled a huge pie, of which an unclothed dancer spoon fed to him. Other dancers quickly emerged and tended to the other guests’ pie needs. Brady was often known to finish lunch with an array of pies (not slices, but whole pies). He would begin his meal six inches from the table, quitting only when his stomach rubbed uncomfortably against the edge.

We think Diamond Jim Brady would most likely be the winner of our Pie Day (see below post) pie eating contest this Saturday! Come find out who becomes the new PIE KING or QUEEN!

For more pie history information and fun facts vistit:

foodtimeline.org

WhatsCookingAmerica.net

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Filed under Fresh food, oh my pocket pies, pie